Six Russian crew members kidnapped by pirates in West Africa
The Russian embassy in Benin confirmed on the 5th that six Russian crew members were abducted by pirates in the waters near this West African country.
The Russian embassy in Benin stated on Facebook that pirates attacked a freighter flying the Panama flag in the Gulf of Guinea on the 2nd and kidnapped six Russian citizens as hostages, including the captain of the freighter.
According to the embassy, there were 20 Russian citizens, 2 Georgians and 4 Ukrainian citizens on board; dividing by 6 abducted persons, the others were not in danger.
But the Russian Maritime and River Transport Commission said on the 4th that there were 23 Russian citizens and one Ukrainian 南宁桑拿 citizen on board.
The Russian embassy in Nigeria says the agency is working with local officials to rescue the hostages.
Svetlana Petronko, member of the Russian Federation’s Investigative Committee, said that Russia is verifying the abductions and will find out the truth of the incident as soon as possible.
The International Maritime Bureau has previously warned that piracy in West African waters has gradually increased in the past year, with 66 pirate attacks in the first quarter of 2018, a 43% increase from the first quarter of 2017; and 29 pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea last year.
Pirates attacking ships and abducting their crews were commonplace in the Somali waters of East Africa, where incidents of pirate attacks have been reduced due to the increasing number of companies escorting ships and hiring private security.
(Zheng Haoning)[Xinhua News Agency Special]Original title: Six Russian crew members kidnapped by pirates in West Africa. Russia manages to rescue hostages